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PRESS RELEASE – Saint Lucia will join the global community on June 17 to observe The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD). This day serves as a point of reflection and call for combative action, as all countries use the soil or land for food and water.
The focus this year is “attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.”
The Forest and Lands Resources Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology will spearhead activities to plant in excess of one hundred trees with the aim of restoring degraded lands around the island.
A number of media interviews and features are planned to highlight concerns relating to the depletion of plant life and the loss of topsoils.
School presentations and tours will also form part of the sensitisation programme.
With the slogan, ‘No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil’, the 2015 observance calls for:
(1) A change in our land use practices through smart agriculture and adaptation to changing climate, especially in the dry fragile parts of the world where food shortages are becoming more and more severe
(2) Access to technology and land rights for small holder farmers who safeguard the environment and meet the food needs of millions of households, especially among the poorest households
(3) A balance in the land use for ecology and consumption, drawing on the best practices
(4) More investments in sustainable land practices so that sustainable food systems become the normal practice and
(5) More effective action on desertification whose effects on security, peace and stability are invisible yet real for the affected countries due especially to food and water scarcity and environmentally forced migration.
Desertification continues to be a major concern here in Saint Lucia primarily due to illegal cultivation of crops in the Forest Reserves.
The Forest and Lands Resources Department encourages citizens to get informed about the issues and play their part to combat desertification which is key to attaining sustainable development.